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Weekly Update from the Field February 26, 2009
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* Update from the Field
* Put the Buffalo on Obama's Radar
* Thank You for the Valentine's!
* Tatanka 2009 ~ Let's Rock for the Buffalo!
* Last Words
* Kill Tally
* Update from the Field
Dear Buffalo Friends,
If you're wondering why you've not been hearing from us each week, it is because things have been quiet and we don't want to inundate you with emails when there is not much to report. Rest assured, when spring migrations begin and the field becomes alive with activity, you will be the first to know. Please ensure that President Obama knows that protecting wild buffalo is important to you by editing and sending this letter. 1,306 of you have already contacted him, and we thank you! Please share the letter with your friends and colleagues and encourage them to send one, too.

No buffalo have yet migrated out of Yellowstone. We ache for their presence, but are thankful that they have remained out of harm's way. After last year's catastrophic events, this respite is sorely needed. But the absence of buffalo in Montana hasn't stopped the Department of Livestock (DOL) from wasting federal tax dollars: agents have been plowing the Duck Creek bison trap, and paperwork is moving through Gallatin National Forest's office to allow the DOL to set up a second trap on Horse Butte.

Montana's legislature has been busy with bills affecting wildlife: State bill HB 253, that would have removed the DOL's authority over wild bison management and would have respected wild buffalo as valued, native wildlife was unfortunately killed in House Committee. The good news is that, even though the legislation failed, this bill demonstrated the growing public support for wild bison in Montana. Many thanks go to Gallatin Wildlife Association for crafting this bill and for their tireless efforts to help restore wild bison to Montana. There is a cattle-industry driven bill, SB 337, moving quickly through the legislature. This legislation aims to prevent the relocation of disease-free bison to public and tribal lands in Montana and elsewhere. The cattle industry has made it clear that it doesn't want any bison on the landscape, whether they've been exposed to brucellosis or not. Although there was tremendous public opposition to the bill in the House, it passed and cattle interests will likely get their way in the Senate, too. The disease-free bison in question are those captured Yellowstone orphans who have suffered confinement and human-handling in a state-federal quarantine feasibility study, an operation we strongly oppose. What this bill demonstrates, though, is that, as BFC has said all along, the war against buffalo is not about disease, but grass. The cattle industry also crafted legislation that would force Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) to take a more heavy-handed approach with elk to appease cattle interests. In the Madison Valley more than 300 elk have been killed in a "special hunt" to scare the great herds off of their winter range where cattle ranches have invaded. The cattle industry originally set up the government of Montana, and for now they still maintain control.

It's not just Montana that's waging war on wildlife for cattle interests: Enhancing the state's drive to reduce wolf populations to near nothing, the Wyoming legislature recently introduced a bill that would allow for brucellosis testing of wolves! Read the article and please consider writing a letter to the editor.

Brucellosis is a smokescreen being used by the cattle industry to harass and kill wildlife for the invasive cow. It is encouraging that the truth is finally starting to come out. Relentless in their acts of selfishness and greed for grass, the cattle industry will create their own demise, and buffalo, wolves and elk will once again take up their rightful places on the landscape.

Roam Free!
* Thank You for the Valentines!
Heartfelt thanks and lots of BuffaLove to everyone who purchased a Buffalo Valentine this year! Many special thanks also go to the card's creator, Kathleen Stachowski. Kathleen personally designs the cards and makes each one by hand. It takes a lot of time and creativity for her to do this, and her beautiful cards are certainly a work of art. Her love for the buffalo comes through in these special creations, which she's been crafting for the past several years for BFC supporters to send on Valentines and Mother's Days.
* Tatanka 2009 ~ Let's Rock for the Buffalo!

BFC's co-founder Mike Mease is back on the road for a mini-road show. He's first giving a presentation at the Environmental Law Conference in Oregon, where he will be joined by the amazing Native musician, Good Shield. On the way back to camp, Mike and Good Shield will make a couple of stops in Idaho.

Join them in Garden City, ID on Wednesday, March 4th for Tatanka 2009! Visual Arts Collective will host this benefit for Buffalo Field Campaign from 7:00-11:00pm. Mike will give a presentation, and there will be music by The Netson Family, featuring Brett Netson of Built to Spill and Caustic Resin. Also rockin' for the buffalo are The Magnetics, La Knotts, and URB. A small donation of $5-$10 is all it takes to get you in the door! Proceeds go directly towards the front lines work of Buffalo Field Campaign. For more information drop a line to myspace@visualartscollective.com.
* Last Words
"They hang the man and flog the woman
That steal the goose from off the common,
But let the greater villain loose
That steals the common from the goose."
~English folk poem, ca. 1764
* Kill Tally
AMERICAN BISON ELIMINATED from the last wild population in the U.S.
2008-2009 Total: 2
2008-2009 Slaughter: 0
2008-2009 Hunt: 1
2008-2009 Quarantine: 0
2008-2009 Shot by Agents: 1
2007-2008 Total: 1,616
Total Since 2000: 3,683*
*includes lethal government action, quarantine, hunts
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BFC is the only group working in the field every day in defense of the last wild buffalo population in the U.S.

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